Adv Med Educ Pract. 2022 Oct 17;13:1305-1319. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S368128. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate in the millennium medical student generation the influence of the curriculum (problem-based curriculum [PBC] vs science-based curriculum [SBC]), gender and semester level on medical students’ motives to study medicine, their attitudes toward their career and in this regard their view about their study condition in university.
METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews with 28 medical students were performed and analyzed using Mayring’s content analysis. Based on these results, a quantitative questionnaire for a nationwide survey was developed using a mixed-method-approach and send to most medical faculties in Germany. Data from n=1053 students entered statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Humanistic ideals prevailed in the choice to enter medical school and to become a physician. PBC students were found to be significantly (p<0.001) more idealistic and patient oriented, and they regard their curriculum more competitive than SBC-students (p<0.001). A balanced work and family life is essential for all students but particularly important for the PBC – group, male and undergraduate students. The majority of students wanted to work with patients and omitted patient-distant line of work. Undergraduate SBC-students saw their studies as old-fashioned citing lack of patient contact (p<0.001 compared to PBC), which eased in the graduate study part.
CONCLUSION: This study found major differences in student’s perceptions depending on curriculum type. PBC-students were more idealistic, and humanistic ideals prevailed in comparison to SBC. For both, close patient contact is essential in their training. Particularly for female students, lifestyle factors and a balanced work-life-integration outweigh career ambitiousness. This study offers an important insight to policy makers and educators to understand the motivation and perceptions of the millennial student generation regarding their studies and future career plans, which should be considered in educational policies.